Dylan St. Shutout: Bobcats are Cleary Cup Champs on Senior Night


Photo: Kaylyn Terry

Mike Singer

In a game dedicated to the senior class on Friday, the Bobcats blanked Colgate 4-0 and won the Cleary Cup.

“Good game by our group,” assistant coach Mike Corbett said. “The guys stepped up and played a great game.”

The opening faceoff was won by senior captain Wyatt Bongiovanni and the Bobcats quickly entered the Raiders zone after a Guus Van Nes steal in the neutral zone, but the defense stood tall, checked the offense, and moved the puck out of the zone.

Both teams started with a jump in their game. Raiders defenseman Anthony Stark had his pocket picked by Quinnipiac junior Skyler Brind’Amour, and his shot whistled wide of goaltender Mitch Benson. The Bobcats offense was equally met by the Raiders offense as a chance by forward Ryan McGuire, who got a quick snapshot off, was gloved by Quinnipiac goaltender Dylan St. Cyr

The best chance of the first half of the game came off a tic-tac-toe play by Quinnipiac as Christophe Fillion fed the puck to Bongiovanni who found defenseman Griffin Mendel who snuck in on the rush, but rang a shot off the iron. 

In what seemed like only a matter of seconds, the Bobcats offense struck first. A Jayden Lee shot from the point deflected off Michael Lombardi’s stick in the slot that snuck under the glove of Benson to put Quinnipiac up 1-0. 

“(The goal) felt good, we’ve been doing a lot of the right things,” Lombardi said. “To see one finally fall, it felt good.”

After multiple penalties that were met with tight penalty killers, Quinnipiac ended the first period up by a goal. 

The Bobcats did not lift their foot off the gas as right off the opening period faceoff, senior Zach Metsa shot the puck over the glove of Benson to put Quinnipiac up by a deuce. 

Colgate’s Ethan Manderville had to watch from the penalty box as he was sent in for tripping.

Led by Bongiovanni, the Bobcats went to work on the power play with a flurry of shots on Benson who came up strong on the first rush of attacks.

On the second rush from Quinnipiac, Lombardi received the puck down low and threw the puck across the ice for a Joey Cipollone tap in goal to put the Bobcats up 3-0. 

Off the faceoff after the Cipollone goal, the Raiders pressured St. Cyr with a Colton Young breakaway, yet St. Cyr stood tall and the 3-0 cushion remained. The loose puck stayed in the zone which reached forward Paul McAvoy, and St. Cyr stood tall again with multiple point-blank saves and the rebound ended in the corner.

The loose puck was taken up ice by Quinnipiac and Van Nes weaved his way through the defense and threw it on net and the loose puck found forward Oliver Chau who blasted it by Benson to extend the lead to four.

Both teams upped the tempo, but the goalies stole the show for the remainder of the period. 

In a shutdown effort led by St. Cyr, Quinnipiac closed the door on Colgate to secure the Cleary Cup on senior night.

“It’s special,” Bongiovanni said. “At the end of the day, it all came together nicely.”

With the Cleary Cup secured, the Bobcats have a two week layover before their quarterfinal matchup.

“I’m sure we will go over a lot of video and pre-scouting teams that we could potentially play,” Bongiovanni said. “It will be a lot of house cleaning and cleaning up on some details.”

The Bobcats return to action on March 11 for a quarterfinal matchup against a team that is yet to be announced.